The prehistory cave paintings in Lascaux became known as the Prehistoric Sistine Chapel Art, approx 18,000 years old.

Researchers and archaeologists have found color minerals in the cave and tons of stone tools with different shapes.

Nearly 2,000 figures were found in the Lascaux cave, including bulls, horses, bison, deer, mountain goats, ponies, unicorn, two lions (one of them was spitting blood), and one bear. Some strokes were painted with two colors and many were applied two layers of colors to give variations of tones. They even used white or yellow for the background.


There are a few interesting findings about the cave paintings:

  • Powder blowing techniques were used to draw the animal lines.
  • Small dots were used in addition to lines.
  • Rework and corrections were found on paintings.
  • Carving was used after the painting is done to bring up the colors.


Painting techniques were remarkable:

  • Painters discovered the cave walls, and they were perfectly prepared for the wall decorations and paintings.
  • Most paintings were accommodated shelter and walls, rather than the other way around.
  • Paintings of these animals were showing signs of fear and angry.
  • Painters used the uneven surface of the cave walls to paint then carved the joints of muscles of animals, thus the animals were like in full fleet, jumping, or rolling on the ground.
  • Animal’s breathe was also portrayed, e.g. painted a short brush of stroke in front of the mouth of the animal.
  • Animals were painted from different angles.
  • Using different lines, straight and curve, to paint feathers, group of lines, and lines of spots.



  • The painters did not live in the cave because it was too cold. They stayed in the cave to paint the walls.
  • Nearly 340 prehistory painting caves were discovered in France and Spain. The oldest one is about 40,000 years old in Spain.
  • Above photos are from wiki commons.


29 thoughts on “Lascaux

  1. This is part of what I’m about, to discover and see the ancient past, this would be a dream come true, what a feeling this must have given you Amy. Oh wonderful! Regards James 🙂


    • Hi James, Thank you for your comment. It was very moving to be in the cave that our ancient artists were there creating artworks, some 18000 years ago.


    • I agree, they are too valuable, 18,000 years old. I hope I get to see the exhibit in Chicago. They are replicas, but they are 90% close to the real paintings.


  2. They are just amazing… I’ve so often read about them, but never seen such wonderful pics before, and I found your information fascinating… did I read that they;re being closed because of all the condensation from tourists breath?


    • Thank you for reading it, Valerie. I wish I could write stories like you do, that would make it interesting to read. The time we were there, they had already put limited numbers of the tourists, and several months of waiting, and we had to stand from a distance, enough to see the drawings.


  3. Mind boggling stats! Those images are so realistic, it is hard to believe they were created nearly 18000 years ago!! How fortunate you were to be able to get a glimpse Amy.


    • Absolute mind-boggling art works. The scales, forms, shapes, colors (even used for background) were all beautifully done, and lasted 18,000 years… When we walked out of the cave, no one say a word for a long, long time, I was teary… Thank you so much for reading it, Madhu.


  4. Fantastic! That whole area is such a great place to visit. There are plenty of stunning caves to explore. In one, I saw a sculpture of a bull. It was carved from the mud of the cave floor, in a protected little alcove. It had the exact look of a Picasso. And he grew up in this area, so I assume was inspired by the ancient artists.


    • OMG, a sculpture of a bull… and Picasso grew up in that area!! So much they had to struggle to survive, they had the mind to be this creative… We visited there twice, enjoyed canoeing and hiking, will explore those caves you just mentioned next time.
      Thank you so much for sharing your experience and knowledge!


    • Thank you for taking time to read it, Rosie! There is no word to express our experience of being in the cave that ancient artists were there creating this majestic artwork, we were very lucky…


    • I appreciate you taking time to read it. I have been fascinated by the findings and discovery. We had a chance to see a tiny part of a cave for a few minutes before the caves were closed completely.


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